The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has charged 27-year-old Jacob Gordon Thompson, a former state trooper, with murder after he fatally shot 60-year-old Black man Julian Lewis last week. The former trooper is now also under a federal civil rights investigation after multiple reports that he racially profiled and harassed Black and brown people while on highway patrol duty. Authorities say the fatal shooting took place after Thompson stopped Lewis for a broken taillight. After a brief car chase, the trooper initiated a maneuver to intercept the car and it stopped in a ditch. The trooper fired one round, fatally striking Lewis.
In his incident report, Thompson admitted shooting Lewis in the forehead because he thought he was in danger. “At some point, I heard the engine on the violator’s vehicle revving at a high rate of speed,” he wrote. “I saw him wrenching the steering wheel in an aggressive back and forth manner towards me and my patrol vehicle. It appeared to me that the violator was trying to use his vehicle to injure me. Being in fear for my life and safety, I discharged my weapon once.” Lawyers for Lewis’ family say that it was Thompson who acted out of line for a minor traffic violation.